The Irish Youth Foundation supported by Vhi today announced details of ‘Run for Fun’, a new initiative developed to encourage young people from disadvantaged communities in Ireland to embrace the benefits offered through running. ‘Run For Fun’, has been created to encourage more young people to get involved in running both for fitness and for recreation.
There is an increasing understanding across society that taking part in regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Research shows that Irish youth are not taking enough exercise, and this can be especially true of young people growing up in disadvantaged areas. IYF and Vhi wanted to put in place a programme that would go some way to supporting and encouraging the young people to exercise and the enjoyment they could gain from it.
Dublin GAA star, Philly McMahon, has been involved with the development of the programme to engage with young people living in disadvantaged areas who attend Youth Groups in Cork, Dublin and Kilkenny. The mission of the ‘Run For Fun’ programme is to empower and build the self-esteem of young people through a fitness and nutrition programme with running at its heart. There are more than 50 young people taking part in the programme across the three locations. The groups are training to complete a 5km run. The nutrition element of the programme is giving young people the opportunity to taste and learn how to prepare easy to make healthy food.
Philly McMahon, Dublin GAA Player said: “It’s very important for young people to get involved in sport at a young age. Not just for their physical health but for their mental health. We’ve developed a 12-week programme to help young people get active. For me the most important thing is unlocking the potential of a young person and helping them feel good about themselves through activity and fitness. That’s what the Run For Fun programme is all about.”
John O’Dwyer, CEO, Vhi said: “Through our partnership with parkrun and the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon we see first-hand the positive impact that regular running has on people’s overall wellbeing. Running is an activity that is relatively accessible, and we are delighted to support this bespoke programme that has been developed specifically for young people in the neighbourhoods that Vhi employees work in.”
Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants, Irish Youth Foundation said: “This programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people living in disadvantaged areas to get active with peers in their community. Many young people need support if they are to develop and reach their full potential and we are pleased Vhi is supporting this programme. Youth groups and activities run in communities are vital to helping young people become contributors and leaders in society and we are delighted to see the fantastic interest and engagement in this programme”.
Run4Fun is a pilot programme in Bradog Regional Youth Service, Dublin; Ossory Youth Service, Kilkenny and Foroige Youth Service, Cork. Philly McMahon is overseeing the Dublin programme, James Fennelly is leading the Kilkenny programme, and the coaching team from Mayfield GAA Club is leading the Cork group.